Top ten cyber security risks in 2019

By: Isabelle Poole

Date: 24 June 2019

A hacker stands with his back turned whilst holding a laptop which he uses to steal dataAs the digital revolution continues, we must keep an eye on the impact those technological advancements have on our daily lives. The internet has transformed the world into a global village where individuals and organizations alike can keep in touch from any corner of the Earth and even work and conduct business remotely.

As much as there are doubtless benefits from these technological advancements, they also pose serious threats to individuals and companies, the most serious of which is cyber security. Cyber security refers to the practice of protecting computer systems from theft or damage to electronic data, software or hardware and against any service provision disruptions.

One good way to secure your network is to purchase a cheap SSL certificate that will enable data encoding and protect your data from prying eyes. Adding an SSL certificate to your server is a must nowadays and if any confidential data is transmitted between the your server and the user, an SSL provides ample security to it.

Leading cyber security risks in 2019

Crypto jacking

Block chain technology has swept the world with many people rushing to invest in crypto currencies. The diverse options in the market - from Bitcoin to Litecoin and Ethereum - have equally brought a pool of threats top of which is crypto jacking. Criminals are employing ransomware variants to manipulate an organization's systems and resources to mine for crypto currency in the background.

Threats to internet of things (IoT) devices

We are all adopting IoT devices at home and organizations are opting for smart technology such as security cameras and smart container chips too. This has introduced a new problem: how can businesses manage and update these devices to keep them protected from attacks? Organizations need to formulate ways of managing IoT devices and implementing update features on the designs of products.

Geopolitical risks

Though previously classified as an enterprise risk, geopolitical risks can now be considered as a valid cyber security risk. Some regions of the world - like Russia, North Korea, China and Iran - have been known as sensitive nation states where state resources or threats work against companies data. It is therefore paramount that organizations carefully evaluate where they store data as well as the security controls of overseas suppliers and vendors.

Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks

Most websites will request you authorize the use of cookies when you are browsing. Smart cyber criminals are taking advantage of this fact to launch XSS attacks on business websites and plant dangerous code on victims' browsers. They can then interact with users' devices to steal cookie information enabling them to hijack sites at will.

Mobile malware

The explosive popularity of mobile devices is both a blessing and a curse. While they make our lives easier, the poor vulnerability management employed by some manufacturers make them a favourite target for cyber criminals. Although there are many Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions that organizations can adopt, privacy concerns can limit implementation because businesses don’t want to be accused of spying on employees. Companies should advise all employees to install proper anti-malware solutions to curb this menace.

Phishing attacks

How often, when browsing, have you come across a attractive pop up that tempts you to click with an attractive offer? When you click a link like that, you run the risk of installing malware on your device and exposing sensitive data. Hackers are now employing even more sophisticated tactics, like machine learning, to steal credit card details and financial information, user logins and even accessing sensitive private information.

Cyber-physical attacks

It is not just in movies that we see hackers hijacking transportation systems, electric grids and water treatment facilities to push an agenda such as spreading a dangerous computer virus or to pull off a heist. This happens in real life and even the ultra-costly and highly sophisticated military systems are not immune to such threats.

Electronic medical records (EMRs) & smart medical devices

As the medical community continues to embrace technology and employ efficient electronic data management techniques, this increases the vulnerability to cyber attacks. Patient information is very sensitive and as such should always be kept private. When hackers target hospital systems and gain access to such information, the breach to privacy can be unbearable. Imagine a scenario where an attacker can hijack hospital equipment to increase or decrease dosages, disable monitoring of vital signs or send electric signals to a patient.

Semi-autonomous vehicles and connected cars

We are all still anticipating driverless cars that can be operated remotely like in a video game. However, technology has overtaken the automotive industry and every manufacturer is competing to launch the next high-tech car on to the market. Most modern cars are already connected with onboard sensors to optimize function and passenger comfort via smart phone, embedded or tethered integration. The downside to this is that hackers could gain access to such systems and steal sensitive data. Worse still, hackers could cause faults in the car's systems and cause intentional accidents.

Cloud data storage vulnerability

Most organizations have already switched from conventional in-house data storage to the more efficient and seemingly safer cloud storage. While this works most of the time, hackers can employ virtual machines to steal your cryptographic keys and gain access to your sensitive information. You should invest in a secure encryption system to curb this risk. You can easily acquire an SSL certificate from a trusted provider to protect your company data.

In summary:

As we move into the future, our reliance on technology will only increase. Smart technologies have taken over all aspects of our lives from learning, medicine, manufacturing and commerce to agriculture, governance and military systems. The benefits of the digital revolution are countless and exhilarating but the threats can also be lethal and damaging. Organizations therefore need to invest in proper cyber security measures such as an SSL certificate to protect their sensitive data. With preventive cyber security measures in place, the future can only get brighter!

Copyright 2019. Featured post made possible by Isabelle Poole
 

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